I haven’t blogged in about a year, mostly because a friend of mine gave me the complete set of the Great Books (from Brittanica). A gift like that is enough to set one behind for a lifetime, never mind a single year! It’s also enough to scramble the brain for a while, so I couldn’t write anything worth reading.
So after plowing through a lot of reading I still don’t have much confidence to write statements, so here are some of the questions that I have wrestled with over the last year:
Why are the benefits of capitalism so counter-intuitive? I.e., why does it take an immense genius like Mises to be clear on the subject? Why does it take waiting until the twentieth century to be clear on the subject? Why does it take even bright people a lot of time wrestling with the writings of Mises to finally “get it”? (Probably because economics is so complex. It’s almost like we need Mises’s Law: “Economics is immensely more complex than you think, even if you take into account Mises’s Law.”)
When will most people “get it,” if ever? Will the twenty-first century finally start when more people “get it”? How many more? Will Information Technology need to help deflect control of the Healthcare and Financial sectors from government first? (See the categories in the list of S&P 500 companies.)
Doesn’t pure capitalism create J.P. Morgans? I.e., if the financially intuitive rise to the top (which I believe Mises implies), and birds of a feather flock together, won’t you get a (very) few Wall Street firms controlling the economy? Mises.org rails against the immense power of the bankers (for good reason), but isn’t that power aided by pure capitalism?
What is the average person to do in a world economy that is getting exponentially more complex? Doesn’t the vastly increasing complexity of modern economics just provide many more pitfalls for the average person? Thus doesn’t pure capitalism (in real life, not in theory), create an uberclass of the financially “astute”? Sure, the Walton family (thank God for Sam Walton!) controls billions, but Wall Street moves trillions!
What do we do with the STJ’s that aren’t going to be productive in such an increasingly complex economy? Is democracy just the best tool for keeping (bored) STJ’s in check? In a democracy, don’t the ESTJ’s just become populist shills for all the ISTJ’s? And then populist shills + J.P. Morgan = central banks and fiat currency, right?
Isn’t the “greatest human being,” the most caring human being, the most human human being (e.g., President Obama) supposed to be in leadership? Wouldn’t anyone want President Obama as President, instead of, say, J.P. Morgan?
Don’t the benefits of capitalism include higher population? Then what happens to the environment? Aren’t many of the (good!) problems of the modern age (expensive healthcare, unproductive masses, environmental degradation, etc.) results of the exponentially-increasing complexity aided by capitalism?
When, if ever, will the technological complexities afforded by capitalism actually start to solve the problems of the modern age? Will this be the start of the twenty-first century? Or even of a major inflection point in history, a Singularity?
How does a brilliant person like Lord Keynes make such an astonishingly stupid statement like: “In the long run, we’re all dead”?